EU membership rejected in general elections

Political parties opposed to the idea of joining the European Union are expected to form the next government of Iceland in the wake of the general elections on April 27. Talks to form a center-right coalition government by the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) and the centrist Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn) are ongoing and said to be progressing well.

The Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin), which formed the outgoing coalition withe the Left Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð) and was mainly responsible for delivereing the EU membership application in 2009, repeatedly claimed during the election campaign that the only way to ensure that the accession process would continue was to vote for the party.

The Social Democratic Alliance got 12.9 percent of the votes in the general elections compared to 29.8 percent in the last elections in 2009. It is the biggest defeat a political party has suffered in Iceland since the country became a republic in 1944. The elections' results are as a consequence considered a rejection by the voters of the the accession process to the EU that started in 2009.

Since 2009 every single opinion poll published has shown around 2/3 of Icelanders opposed to joining the EU but for Iceland to become a member it will have to be accepted in a referendum. The political parties expected to form the next government both have the policy of stopping the accession talks with the EU and as a result that will probably be the outcome of their coalition talks.